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Crazy-high gas prices are causing many of us to adjust our monthly spending plans. Minimizing trips, avoiding rush hour traffic, and driving your most fuel-efficient vehicle is a good start. In addition, your credit card can help you save money on gas.
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1. Use Cash Back Credit Cards.
Cash back credit cards can offer a percent back on gas station purchases. Percentage-based discounts can be more valuable than a fixed discount or earning points.
Some of the best offers are the following to help save money on gas.
Chase Freedom Credit Cards
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards earn cash back on popular purchases. Both cards have a $0 annual fee and can help you get the most out of your spending.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases, including gas.
However, new Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything they buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!
So, instead of 1.5% cash back on gas, you’ll earn 3% back. Not bad, considering many cash back cards only earn up to 2% back.
Chase Freedom Flex
The Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (gas station purchases are usually one of the quarterly categories), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
New Chase Freedom Flex cardholders can earn a $200 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in their first 3 months from account opening.
Related: Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Freedom Flex
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express helps you save money on several household essentials. Cardholders can earn Cash Back on the following:
- 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
- 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
- 3% cash back on transit, including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more
- 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
- 1% cash back on other purchases
Getting unlimited 3% back on every gas station purchase is one of the highest earning rates. You can redeem your rewards as a cash statement credit.
Cardholders can also enjoy $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after spending $12.99 or more each month on an eligible The Disney Bundle package (which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) subscription with the Blue Cash Preferred Card. Enrollment required.
The welcome bonus is the ability to earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (See Rates & Fees).
Learn more: Cash Back Credit Cards
Citi Custom Cash Card
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns cash 5% back on the first $500 you spend on purchases in your top spend category for each billing cycle, then 1% cash back thereafter.
Eligible categories include:
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Select streaming services
- Home improvement stores
- Fitness clubs
- Live entertainment
- Select travel
- Select Transit
If gas purchases are your top category, you get up to 5% back. All of your remaining non-bonus purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.
New Citi Custom Cash℠ Card cardholders can earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back).
The annual fee is $0.
2. Use Grocery Store Rewards That Work For You.
Your supermarket may let you earn fuel points for each dollar in grocery purchases. In turn, you can redeem these fuel points for a discount. For example, you can save 10 cents per 100 earned points.
Buying your groceries with a co-brand grocery store credit card can help you accumulate points quicker. You may also be able to get cash back at the grocery store fuel pumps when you pay with this card.
Kroger, Costco, and Walmart have some of the best programs for gas savings.
Related: Best Credit Cards for Grocery Purchases
3. Use Apps To Save Money on Gas.
Independent gas apps can help you stack savings and therefore save money on gas station purchases. Plus, you can pay and/or link your account to your preferred rewards credit card, earning you even more points, miles, or cash back. Here are some gas app examples that can help you save.
Shell Fuel Rewards
Shell Fuel Rewards is a popular program letting you save at least 5 cents per gallon. First, you scan your Fuel Rewards loyalty card to claim your discount before inserting your payment card.
The savings are instant, and you also earn credit card rewards.
If you haven’t signed up for this program yet, see if they partner with your favorite airline or hotel loyalty program. It’s possible to get bonus travel miles by enrolling through your loyalty account.
GetUpside shows partner offers for gas stations, restaurants, and groceries inside the app. You can activate your discount (worth up to 25 cents per gallon) and enjoy savings inside the app on top of the rewards you might get with your credit card rewards.
4. Consider Gas Credit Cards.
If you usually go to the same gas station for your fill-ups, you might see if they offer a gas credit card. These cards provide cash discounts on every gallon. It’s also common to save on non-fuel purchases.
Some gas chains offer store charge cards that only work at their gas pumps. They may also offer a rewards credit card that works for retail and online shopping too. It’s vital to compare the discount amounts as the credit card version usually offers better savings.
However, only getting a fixed discount instead of a percentage off means you might be leaving money on the table.
For example, 5% back on a $4.00 gallon of gas is a savings of 20 cents. If your gas card award is only 15 cents, the discount is only 3.75%. The discount gap widens as the price of fuel increases.
Instead, you may want to go for something that comes with more flexibility.
5. Use Flexible Travel Rewards Cards To Get More Value.
Several travel credit cards also earn bonus points at gas stations. You might prefer this earning method when you don’t need to capitalize on the cash rewards as travel points can be worth more or provide more benefits for road trips. This method can save money on gas while also helping offset travel purchases.
You can also visit our post that compares cash back vs travel rewards credit cards if you want to read more.
Some of the best travel credit cards for gas stations include:
Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier® Card earns 3x ThankYou points per dollar in these categories:
- Gas stations
- Air travel
All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.
You also receive savings of $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com once per calendar year.
It’s possible to redeem your points for award travel or transfer at a 1:1 ratio to participating frequent flyer programs.
New Citi Premier® Card cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus is redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com.
The annual fee is $95.
Related: Citi Premier Review
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns unlimited 2x miles on every purchase. However, earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Plus, Venture cardholders will earn 5x miles when booking through the Turo app or on Turo.com (through May 16, 2023).
You can redeem your points for 1 cent each as a travel statement credit for purchases like flights, hotels, car rentals, camping, and excursions.
Additional card benefits include:
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- 2 one-time Capital One Lounge visits each year
- Hertz Five Star status
The annual fee is $95.
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel, with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card
The information for the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns 5x points on gas paid at the pump and EV charging stations. You also earn 3x points on supermarkets (including most Target and Walmart locations), restaurants, and TV, radio, cable, and streaming services. Non-bonus purchases earn 1x point per $1.
There isn’t an annual fee for this card and its point redemption options are for award travel, gift cards, and shopping credits.
New cardholders can earn 15,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,500 in first 90 days.
Related: The Best Travel Credit Cards
In conclusion, when done responsibly, paying with a card that earns extra cash back, points, or miles for your gas station purchases can help you effortlessly save money on gas. Earning extra rewards means you’ll have something to use and enjoy later. You may even consider carrying several cards so you can deploy the best one to maximize your savings and reduce the pain at the pump.
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For rates and fees of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.